Dallas Kirk, 25, of Duncannon, Pennsylvania weighed 420-plus pounds when he considered having gastric bypass surgery. But he decided to give the Atkins Nutritional Approach a shot first. Three years later he is cut like a bodybuilder and weighs in at about 239 pounds.

I started back on January 1, 2001 on the Atkins diet as a last resort. At that time my father weighed about 460 and I was tipping the scales around 420. He decided to go with gastric bypass to take care of his weight problem. I decided before I went the same route, I would give one last ditch effort at dieting, and give the Atkins diet a try. Since that day I've never looked back! I joined a gym, and stuck with the diet, and now I'm on track to hit the 200 pounds lost mark in a few months.

Now I'm training for competitive powerlifting, and plan on competing in 2005. The diet has not slowed me down with this goal. Various people, some self-proclaimed diet experts, told me low carb is not the way to go if you want to be strong. Now I've more than proved them wrong, as while I continue to lose weight, I'm gaining tremendous strength by low-carbing. Stick with it, and don't let those frustrating weight plateaus steer you off track.

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